Tuesday, June 22, 2010

California considers mandating energy storage

by Todd Woody.

The California Assembly has passed legislation [PDF] that takes the first step to requiring that a percentage of electricity generated in the state be stored.

Electricity, of course, is the ultimate perishable commodity. If the bill is approved by the California Senate and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, it would apparently be the first time a state will move toward mandating that electricity generated by wind farms, solar power plants, and other intermittent sources be stored for use during peak demand.

That’s key if California is to meet its ambitious mandates to obtain 33 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

“Electric energy storage is an emerging industry that offers the possibility to solve a number of major obstacles to the achievement of a sustainable electricity future,” according to an analysis [PDF] of the legislation prepared by the California Public Utilities Commission in May. “It can effectively address problems such as the integration of intermittent renewables.”


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